When we named Prairie Hill Cohousing, we had not yet decided to plant a prairie on our site. Instead, the name called attention to the horticultural history of this Iowa land, covered with prairie until settlers started transforming the landscape. However, now that we have moved our buildings to the eastern half of our large site, we do plan to devote the southern upper section to prairie. And we are grateful to anyone who can steer us with their own experience. The two pictures below were taken at a 4-year-old prairie established by Kathy Janz and Nancy Reinecke near Ainsworth, Iowa. We're looking forward to learning from them about how to prepare a plot for prairie, how to seed it, nurture it, and burn it (successful prairies thrive on regular burning).
The area on which we hope to plant prairie is a slope too steep for easy gardening. We know it won't look as beautiful as these pictures for at least a couple years, but once it gets established, it will provide a lovely view from the highway down below, and also from our gardens on top.
Kathy and Nancy have invited us to come to their place on September 10th. We'll get to see the prairie up close and glean as much information as we can about its development. We're planning to meet at the parking lot in front of the extension building at the Johnson County Fairgrounds at 9:00 a.m. that day in order to carpool to their 40+ acre holding. If you are interested in coming along, let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org. It should be a good time!